A nationwide ban on the domestic trade in elephant ivory will kick in a few days' time on Sep. 1, 2021.
Nationwide prohibition of elephant ivory sale
What this means is that the sale of elephant ivory, and ivory products will be prohibited in Singapore, said the National Parks Board (NParks) on Aug. 27.
In addition, the public display of elephant ivory and ivory products for the purpose of sale will be also be prohibited.
From Sep. 1, after the ban comes into effect, those found offering elephant ivory, or ivory products, for sale, or displaying said items for the purpose of sale, may be charged under the Endangered Species (Import & Export) Act.
The offence carries a fine of up to S$10,000 per specimen, not exceeding S$100,000 in total and/or up to 12 months’ imprisonment upon conviction.
NParks said that the nationwide ban highlights Singapore’s resolve in the fight against the illegal trade in species listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
A complete ban on domestic trade in elephant ivory was first raised in Parliament by Member of Parliament Louis Ng in 2017.
The decision of a complete ban was first announced in 2019 after a public consultation was made.
Previously, the local sale of ivory is still permitted if vendors can provide that their ivory was imported before 1990, or were acquired before elephants were categorised as endangered species by CITES.
Since 2019, traders were given two years to either donate their ivory to institutions for educational purposes, or keep them.
Some not-for-sale purposes of ivory will continue to be permitted. These include the public display of ivory for educational or religious purposes.
Top image by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images